Day 28: Your Workout is Your Meditation

On the surface, workouts and meditation may seem boring (for some people), but by not focusing fully on their workouts and by not taking the time to meditate routinely, I think people are missing out on some really big benefits. So, today during your workout, I encourage you to be the multi-tasker that you probably are, and combine the two. What if your workout became your meditation?

Making health and fitness fun

Meditation doesn’t have to be sitting cross-legged in the dark with incense burning and Zen music playing. There are many ways to meditate. You can even meditate while you are doing other things, which is called a walking, or active, meditation. This is what I am suggesting by combining your exercise with your meditation. Rather than tuning out during your workout, try tuning in. You don’t have to close your eyes or chant Buddhist chants, you simply focus all of your attention on your breath, in and out, and on the count of your reps. If your mind starts to wander, bring it back to what you are doing right now. Look for the things that you appreciate most about the exercises. Notice how great it is that you have the ability to move your body in the way that you do. If you exercise in front of a mirror, specifically look for the new muscles and strength that you see developing and focus on the areas of your body that you appreciate most. If you exercise outdoors, really soak up the feeling of the sun and the wind on your face, or the smell of the trees around you. If you work out in a gym, take time to appreciate the fun people you get to exercise with. By paying special attention to stay in the moment, focusing on the rhythm of your breath, the repetition of your count, and by noticing the sensory-type things around you, it helps to slow things down. It relaxes your brain in a way that is similar to the benefits of traditional meditation. I know it sounds silly, but the more that you take time to really look for things to appreciate and live in this moment rather than thinking about the past or the future (what’s next), the more it becomes a habit and a part of who you are. And the more you do this kind of thing, the more fun your health, fitness, and life in general will naturally become.
What are some things you notice when you make your workout your walking meditation? Check out the entire Live Well 360 30-Day Challenge series.
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